Marist-Harewood's season has reached a crossroads with the finals approaching after a strong start to the season which saw them win their opening four games.
They were beaten for the third consecutive match in the Christchurch Metropolitan one-day competition when going down by 38 runs to East Shirley on Saturday.
Easts batted first and posted a modest 170, with their top order all getting starts but no one scoring big.
Ken McClure did best with 33 while Peter Younghusband (5-35) was the outstanding performer with the ball for Marist-Harewood.
Easts' bowlers then exposed Marist-Harewood's chasing frailties by knocking the top off their order through Jared Roberts (3-19) and after they kept the scoring tight Jason Pawson produced another top spell of 5-24 to help roll the visitors for just 132 in the 41st over.
Youngsters Matt McEwan, Theo van Woerkom and Joel Abraham played pivotal roles as Old Boys Collegians continued their strong recent form with a nine-wicket win over Sydenham at Sydenham Park.
McEwan did his prospects of a Wizards' callup no harm by ripping through Sydenham, which plummeted for 49 against Canterbury Country last month, with figures of 5-19 off 9.4 overs. Van Woerkom also took 2-18 off eight overs as Sydenham were rolled for 90.
The chase was dominated by Abraham, who hit an unbeaten 59 to wrap up victory with 200 balls to spare. It was struggling Sydenham's seventh defeat from eight games.
A crucial cameo by Angus Harman helped Burnside West-University to their third victory of the season, a two-wicket nailbiter against Canterbury Country at Burnside Park.
Country's innings never really got going with only Henry Nicholls (33) passing 30. Scott Inglis (5-18), Sam Noster (2-16) and David Sewell (2-18) were all at the top of their game with the ball for BWU as Country were dismissed for 139.
BWU's chase was far from a breeze, however, as Carl Huyser held the top order together with a patient 36 before Harman (25no) and Inglis (4no) guided home the final 23 runs after they had been 117-8.
Will Williams (3-17) off 10 over was the best of Country's bowlers.
The mid-table battle between Riccarton and Lancaster Park Woolston was a real cliff hanger as Riccarton kept themselves in the finals race after they chased down 195 in the final over. After Brent Findlay (3-39) reduced them to 28-3, Brad Gordon provided a steadying influence for Riccarton before he was joined by Cameron Bellis at 63-4.
The pair timed the chase perfectly, putting on 105 before Bellis fell for 58.
Gordon (64no) anchored home the five-wicket victory with Chris Mugford (10no).
For LPW, Keryn Ambler (46) and Dean van der Venter (34) shone with the bat while Arnie Yugaraja (3-31) was the best with the ball for Riccarton.
In yesterday's game, St Albans were far too strong for the Canterbury under 20-side and cemented their spot at the top of the table.
They restricted the junior side to 147 then, on the back of James O'Gorman's 56, reached their target in the 38th over for the loss of just three wickets to grab a bonus point.
Saints and OBC are now guaranteed a spot in the December 16 semifinals while Country, East Shirley, Riccarton, Marist-Harewood and LPW are all a chance at the final two spots.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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